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Club Med Maldives, here I come!!!!
I freaking did it!!!!
In just 4 months, I managed to fulfill the requirements to win not one but TWO fully paid holidays to Club Med Maldives for a whole five days!!! I am so excited as I have never been there before. Thank you, Naturally Plus.
On top of these 2 holidays in April, let’s not forget that I also have an income now. A regular one. Uhuh. It’s not what I used to earn yet but it’s definitely a start and by the end of this year or earlier, I expect it to double.
Now that this is starting to get it’s groove, I will look at the Thermomix business. Another hot seller. I could do with a German maid anyway since standing for long hours in the kitchen does cause me a bad back. Heh. Now to convince my CFO to invest in a Thermie.
For now, I am off to Chiangmai for my beloved brother’s wedding. The boy just told me I had to sit on the floor! What? Floor? Did I hear right? Which wedding in the world do you get to sit on a floor??? Apparently a traditional Thai one!!! So much for stressing about what gown to wear. It was too funny when he told us because my Oz cousins and I were just in hits of hysteria. All were packed with high heels and gowns and had to UNPACK. No way were they sitting on the floor in their gowns. All wearing pants now. Hahaha. Me, in my slipped disc condition, I will not even be able to SIT on the floor so I guess they will have to make me a special exception and give me a chair. I told Ben that he’d better prepare some strong bouncers in order for them to pull all the fat asses off the floor.
My girls wanted to be different for this wedding and chose not to wear formal dresses and instead chose T-Shirt material dresses from Desigual. We’re the Desigual Family, yo. Honestly, if I was slim enough to wear one of those Desigual dresses, I would join them but currently wearing ANY dress just makes me look like a cute whale. So no. I shan’t be embarrassing my brother like that. And my Mom from above will be screaming till I could actually hear. She was ever the poised and polished dresser…..
It’s been a great start to the year thus far with this 2 fully paid holidays to Club Med Maldives for 5 days. I suppose I will DRAG the Hubs along (if he gets sacked from work, SO BE IT) and we shall just pay for my 2 little monkeys to tag along. How unromantic, right? It’s OK. I love them to bits and it is too dangerous not bringing them along anyway as we might end up with a Number Three. Fark! Choy! Choy! Choy!
In any case, the only way we would be able to go without the kids would be to ship them off to Chiangmai to stay with Uncle Ben. We’ll see. They would have to ‘ponteng’ 3 days of school too. Speaking of which, T1 has been wanting to join this year’s school annual production but the school has advised against it because she is due to sit for the Year 6 Cambridge Checkpoint Exams, so technically she has to study for it. But who the heck cares! It’s only a Primary Exam. Shish. So I told her to just GO FOR IT. I know she really wants to be a part of a production. Her Mother was always the lead role in school plays and her Father was always the guy behind the scenes designing the props. Hahaha. I guess she is choosing to follow the Mother.
Club Med Maldives, here I come!!! Adios Amigos!!!
If you have 1.5 hours to spare, actually, make that please force yourself to put 1.5 hours aside to watch this very important documentary about what we put into our bodies. If you care enough about your loved ones, make them watch it too. Stop being so pro FDA and start thinking, for goodness sake.
This free movie is only valid for the next 10 days and will expire on 6 March 2015. Please click the link.
So make that time to watch it if you care what goes into your bodies whether it is tomatoes, or beef or flu jabs.
Hah! I could not walk yesterday and I was in excruciating pain. I have not had such painful pain ever where I would literally scream in pain. So embarrassing but a great realisation of how much we take our simple limbs for granted every day. We take our health for granted every day. And when I couldn’t walk yesterday, I prayed so hard. I imagined what life would feel like if I could never walk again. It was so painful that I had to just lie in bed all day and I could not even turn from left to right as it was way too painful. Every move was a shout and the Hubs wanted to take me to the hospital but what would they do there? That thought freaked me out so I decided to take extra Izumio Hydrogen Water instead and extra Super Lutein capsules and went to bed. Granted, T1 spent more than an hour massaging me as well. Bless her. One of the few people who truly cares about me.
Today, I woke up feeling much, much better. I could walk! And I could sit and stand without that sharp jab that felt like the most painful thin pinch in your life, more painful than a knife cut. I was ecstatic!!! So I became the hero to fulfill all my kids’ wishes, cook lasagna with lots of vegetables, cook noodles with lots of fishballs and vegetables, make coconut gula Melaka agar-agar, fry kuih bakul in batter, and did a bit of work including carrying a 7.3kg box. It was right at that point when I stood for a whole 45 minutes in the kitchen when the pain started coming back. Not as bad as yesterday but I could feel the pain as my day progressed, becoming a little worse. Darn it. More Izumio tonight then.
I need to heal within 2 days because we are off to catch a plane abroad again!!! I cannot afford to not walk!!!!
Lying face up on a rickety bench with nails protruding within sight, I inhaled the sights around me. The very blue, blue sky peeping from the frame between the roof of the hut I was lying in and the edge of that rickety bench, the swaying coconut leaves of trees, and to make it even more meaningful, I had scrapped a real coconut just that morning using an antique coconut grater that was in our house in KB for the girls to make Ondeh-Ondeh for tea. In a distance, my girls were flying their new kites beautifully with the Hubs ensuring they didn’t go beyond the monsoon seas. The ceiling of the hut had a faulty light but the sun shone so brightly that it was not necessary. I was finishing up my book, Horror Stories by Tunku Halim, with the sea breeze slapping my right cheek when I suddenly felt it – contentment.
Everything I needed was here.
There was nothing else more that could make my heart sing with contentment. Even with my dearest and most beloved Mom not with us in presence, she really was felt everywhere we went. That was how strong our love was. I now lead a fearless life because I know I am safe. People ask me, the pictures of your kids are everywhere, don’t you care about their safety? There could be pedophiles lurking.
Let’s just stop to think of that for a minute. So what exactly is a pedophile going to do with my child’s picture? Masturbate to it? Find them and hurt them? Ruin their reputations? I’m good on all fronts, thank you. I’ve got them covered. I sincerely believe that everything in this world happens for a reason. When your intentions are pure and clear, no harm can ever come onto you. And besides, we have a lot of angels protecting us from above. I have been born lucky, I really do not spend sleepless nights worrying about things like that. Call me naive but I’m good. Thank you for your concern for me, as always.
Am I naive? For someone who has been through the depth of more than 40 years of real life experience of a coloured life, what more with a further 50 plus years of several first hand experiences, I don’t think so but you’re most welcome to judge. This brings me back to my solo conversation with Samantha Barlian, my best friend at University. We were both in tune with one another. We had gone through enough (and mind you, then she was only 21; but of course she had her Mom’s experiences to go by too). We had seen with our own eyes so much of the world there is to be seen. Perhaps that’s arrogant so allow me to rephrase. We have seen more than what many of our peers have. Sam herself has said, nothing surprises me anymore. Another person I’ve met in this lifetime who understood this is a girl whom I met through the UWC gang I used to hang out with. We were also very in tune with one another. We might not have been to prison, but we knew people who had. We knew the inside stories of Government and political power. We have mixed with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and we have made our choices. I remember asking her once, you are a high profile lady with bodyguards. Why don’t you wear make up? She shrugged and said, “I just prefer to spend that time putting on make-up doing other things.” I love that girl. Always have, always will. And we are tight lipped. That much I know we are. Our secrets are forever safe with each other for I am the best keeper of one.
Despite living a simple day to day life of minimalism, I’ve learnt that I am still admired. For what, I am not exactly sure. Perhaps not all fans are admirers. Some are possibly haters. And some are just gawking in fascination. I am not a millionaire or a billionaire’s daughter, but I have solid life values. I know who I am and what I am capable of. I know too my weaknesses. And I think that when you truly know yourselves and are truly true TO yourselves, contentment sets in. Nobody can hurt you.
My wish is for all women to get there. It always has been. Because I was not always here and it took effort and learning to get here. But I was blessed that I had a Mother who loved me enough to teach me the ropes very early on. Not everyone had that but everyone can still learn. Get rid of all your insecurities and believe. You need to live life to build upon such confidence instead of remaining cooped up at home. You need to get out of your comfort zone to speak to people real life. Lots of people. You need to learn how to think on your feet. Meeting people builds inner confidence. Doing things builds self-esteem. Do both. Clean your home, clean yourselves. Go out to meet a wide range of personalities in various settings. You need to have versatility to build upon that confidence. If you keep meeting up with only one class of people, you limit your ability to take on that beggar on the street, or the Prime Minister. Meet people from different parts of the world, different nationalities, different income groups, different artistic backgrounds, different nerds. Enrich your lives with knowledge and experiences. When you have so much experience, your confidence is strong and you will be able to be the best parent, leading by example.
Of course, not all women want to get there preferring to stay in their comfort zone of happy already. That is their choice too. We all have choices and we should never impose. We should never judge because you never know what goes on in another person’s life. What you see is not necessarily what their reality is. I have been trying to express that idea to women for the longest time but not many get it. C’est la vie.
Happiness and contentment – I do not react to many things because I see things with different sets of eyes. Do I have six pairs of eyes? Yes, I do when I choose to. Absolutely. You can too. Even my extreme joy is sometimes silent. Those moments are usually happiness and contentment to do with the bigger picture. I do not waste precious time with superficial unimportant matters. My good friend reminded me last year at a funeral, bless her, that you work for God and in Him, you serve. It hit home.
Contentment, we can all have it in varying degrees. How much money do you have to make? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What legacy do you want to leave behind? Write it all down.
Love and light x
The art of giving gifts: The Hubs and I are not big on celebrations. Whether I get him anything or not for any occasion and vice versa is irrelevant in our connected lives. Yet sometimes, we manage to surprise one another truly without expectation. I will never forget the day he collaborated secretly with my colleagues and got access to my LOCKED office at the twin towers and sent me on a love treasure hunt. It was spooky that there were all these love notes in my office from him when clearly he didn’t have the keys to my office!!! And I was the boss!!! Someone gave him the spare key, can you believe it??? Criminal!!! I could have flipped big time but I didn’t. My staff took a big risk.
Once T1 and I made him a special box of goodies for Father’s Day. It had all the things that were perfect for a Daddy to show how loved he was. Seriously, thoughtful gifts are the best. But of course, an IWC thrown in doesn’t hurt. Hahaha. I myself wrote a poem for my departed Mom (plus many other such gifts since she already had all material goods, what good would another material object do her?) and she framed it and looked at it every day…..my brother gave me the most wonderful card ever and I framed that too because the words in it were just so special. It made me all fuzzy and my heart just bloomed more beautifully from it. He also gave me a silver pebble once with the inscription STRENGTH on it. I loved it. Special thoughtful gifts will only come from someone who is creative, caring and gives serious thought to the art of giving gifts.
The Hubs and I, we have no expectations of each other and we have no expectations of our friends and family either. Whether it is our birthday or not, whether we get a present or not, it does not change the way we feel about anyone in any way. But I see people around me always giving gifts to each other and I wonder why? I give gifts too but I do not give it for any particular occasion. I get someone a gift when I am thinking of the person or when I see something that I know someone will love and I will get it immediately. Or if I am thinking about someone, I might even decide to make something for that person. Just because. Just because I love the person. With no other agenda in mind. Zero. No expectations either. That is just how my Mom has taught me to be. Just because someone keeps giving me a hundred gifts does not mean I am obligated to return the gesture. Likewise, I only give when I feel the sincere need. And even if I gave someone a branded bag, there is no expectation back. Even if the bitch stabs me in the back one day. It is her karma, not mine. I gave because I was happy to give.
So as you can see, if you actually get something from me, especially if I have baked it or boiled or cooked it, it’d mean you were pretty special in my life. Likewise, I will always, always, ALWAYS be grateful to the people in my life who have cooked for me over the years when I struggled. Thank you my dearest Dea, Mayumi and Alessandra; some of my oldest and dearest friends (since T1 was a baby) who have all cooked for me in our struggles as Stay At Home Moms. I remember doing the school run once upon a time when T1 had just started school at 5 and I was still a very tired SAHM and amazing Dea would cook me sambal petai rice (or lamb bryani, or crab curry rice!) all packed and perfect for me to eat in our waiting cars at school. Bless her indeed. She has cooked for me so many times and also made my Mother’s death experience the most beautiful ever. I will always, always love her. Mayumi, another gem, marinated roast chicken thighs for me when I was vomiting profusely whilst pregnant with T2 and still having to care for T1 without a maid so all I had to do was to stick it in the oven. Bless my very special Japanese friend. And Alessandra (being Italian German) cooked me spaghetti bolognese sauce for 3 full meals when I was so busy with full time work still managing 2 Homeschooled girls last year with the deaths and drama. Bless her. Bless them. My bestest, bestest darling friends whom I do not see very often at all but who are always in my heart. Of course, there are scatterings of others who have cooked for me. Elaine, who brought me soup when I was sick; and some others. Bless them all!!!
Coming back to the art of giving gifts, the Hubs surprised me this year out of the blue by giving me the best gift. Cash!!! Hahahahaha!!! Lots of it!!!!!! My initial reaction was that I should go get all my Varas now before the GST and get that part of my life sorted. I still have to get the purple green, black and the last one I have not decided. Maybe an orange or some other fun colour. SO shallow, right? What to do, they are the most comfortable shoes in the world for me and they make me feel like a million bucks. They are just me. Period.
He also got me a small box of my favourite Hawaiian Host Macadamia Nut chocolates. It had to be a small box because he knows me so well that I would finish the entire box at one go. And I did. Oops. So I’ve been thinking, what shall I do with my new cash now that I am no longer working and don’t have any of it? Considering that I have very little income for the next 12 months, I should really watch what I spend it on. Already I’ve blown my February salary from him and it’s not even the end of February yet. Oops. I’m just a big spender, what can I say? But if it makes people happy, why ever not, eh? I will do my usual……not sure if the Varas will eventuate. Sigh. Here we go again. I can just see another fight coming up about charity begins at home……
Why grains are bad for you: What are grains? Grains are the seeds of plants and anything made out of the small, hard, dry seeds, with or without attached hulls or fruit layers, harvested for human or animal consumption.
Whole grains (the best of grains but not good either) include ALL three parts:
Bran – the most outer layer of the seed containing fiber, B vitamins, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, copper) and phytochemicals;
Endosperm (don’t think of anything else!) – the kernel and bulk of the seed containing complex carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins;
Germ – produces the sprout and contains B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin), vitamin E, minerals, unsaturated fats, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Whole grains include: amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, kasha, buckwheat groats, bulgur (cracked wheat), kamut, millet, oats/oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, spelt, teff, triticale, whole grain corn/cornmeal, whole wheat, whole rye, and wild rice.
Refined grains (very bad for you) include: corn flakes, couscous, cream of wheat/rice, crisped rice, degermed cornmeal, enriched macaroni or spaghetti, grits, pretzels, puffed rice/wheat, white breads, white flour and white rice.
Why grains are bad for you:
1. Going back in history, it has been noted that after the agricultural revolution took place, there was a steady decline in brain and muscle strength of humans. Hahaha. So if you want to be more clever and stronger, stop eating grains. Why grains are bad for you? It is because grains contain Phytic Acid in the bran of all grains (plus the coating of seeds and nuts), a mineral blocker that prevents the absorption of minerals. In the past, grains were allowed to sit in the fields allowing them to sprout and the sprouting process increased the nutritional value of the grains breaking down the Phytic Acid. But in today’s world like everything else, grains are not sprouted and are consumed in much, much larger quantities than before so there is no time for a quality grain anymore. People with osteoporosis are given calcium supplements by Doctors but they are pointless if the patient still consumes grains as they are then delivering Phytates that will block the calcium absorption into their bones.
Why grains are bad for you:
2. Although the medical fraternity and experts claim that we have been eating grains all our lives, and try to push whole grains as OK, it doesn’t mean that just because we are not experiencing symptoms now that eating grains (even whole) are really OK. Apart from putting Phytic Acid into our bodies via grains, we are also spiking our insulin production every time we eat grains. Every time sugar is available in our body, insulin spikes. Everything goes out of whack for a bit and cortisol and adrenaline are produced too to counter act the imbalance in your endocrine system. Do this enough times and your immune system lowers and inflammation starts. So stop eating sugars. Not just grains. Grains are just ONE type of sugar.
Why grains are bad for you:
3. Studies have shown that grains affect your fertility. Sperm count drops by 50% after regular consumption of grains. If you’re trying to get pregnant and have a family and are not succeeding, you might want to both get off rice and pastas for awhile. Instead of eating grains that have very negligible nutritional value, isn’t it better to get your nutrition from vegetables and protein, good fats and fruit? By eating cake, you have a double whammy of flour (grains) and real sugar. Diabetic Heaven! Perfect for throwing your system out of whack. Again, inflammation starts whenever you do this often enough……
Why grains are bad for you:
4. Many grains have gluten. GLUTEN. What is gluten? It is some sticky stuff found in the endosperm of grains. Something to do with the germination process of grains perhaps. Point is, gluten breaks down the microvilli in your small intestines, eventually letting particles of your food leech into your blood stream cleverly defined as LEAKY GUT. This causes allergies, digestive disturbances or autoimmune problems. HAH!!! There you go. Now you know why.
Gluten has a partner called Lectin that is a toxin that disallows repair of the digestive tract. Thus even more of your undigested food travels into your blood stream. When this happens, your body is under attack and retaliates and this is how allergies start. Something enters the body, and the body retaliates.
Later, this causes even more problems (it is a chain reaction!!!) to your gallbladder which releases bile salts to help break down your food to properly digest it. When your intestines are already damaged by gluten, the chemical responsible for bile secretion is not released so gets filled within the gall bladder. The cholesterol that is left there eventually crystallizes into stones.
Why grains are bad for you:
Have you not figured it out by now? It causes inflammation to the body. It causes diabetes. Inflammation leads to cancer. It causes allergies and auto-immune disorders. It causes arthritis. So many problems with grains!!! But to give it up altogether? Is it possible? 99.99 % of you will say no way. But seriously think about it. Try it out for a few weeks and see how your body reacts to a no grain diet. If you don’t feel better, you could always revert to your nasi kandar and roti canai ways. But you owe it to your body to at least try.
I hope you now understand WHY GRAINS ARE BAD FOR YOU.
Is rice bad for you? Rice is the Malaysian staple, how can it possibly be bad for you?
I’ve been eating rice all my life. I LOVE rice!!! The Asian population, the biggest in the world, depend on rice for their sustenance. China, India, South East Asia, we all eat rice, if not daily, definitely weekly. So is rice really bad for you?
Well, rice is sugar. The moment rice enters your stomach, it converts into sugar. If you ate rice just 5 times a week, you are at increased risk of getting Diabetes Type 2 in your old age. It is high in calories but very little nutritional content. It offers a little bit of potassium being its highest nutritional benefit.
Because white rice is low in fibre, it is great for treating gastro problems such as diarrhea. So is rice bad for you?
A single cup of white rice (that’s about a fist worth of rice, my fist anyway. Small!) gives you already 17% of your daily recommended allowance (DRA) of carbohydrates. Bear in mind there is even carbohydrates in the vegetables that you eat, on top of bread and even some fruit.
So is rice bad for you? If you had to eat rice, it is much better to eat quality rice that could be brown rice, unpolished rice, mixed rice, red rice and such. The darker the rice, the healthier it is.
Unfortunately, rice is a grain and the latest research show that grains aren’t the healthiest things for our bodies. So ditch the nasi lemak, ditch the nasi kandar, ditch the banana leaf rice, ditch the nasi lauk, ditch the nasi kerabu and nasi dagang…….sounds crazy, doesn’t it? How will we EVER ditch rice??? Everything in moderation. Currently my family eats rice thrice a week. I plan all their meals.
Is rice bad for you? If you want to live longer and suffer less, the answer is yes.
The Izumio Hydrogen Water Business
Finally, I took the plunge and invested in this Direct Selling business. I have been involved with various Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) businesses in my lifetime for various reasons such as being conned into them!!! So I can see why people shun away from ANY MLM or direct selling businesses. It’s all due to unscrupulous distributors. Once, a lady made me sign my credit card by pressuring me on the spot (can you believe it?) and I was a young, naive 25 year old then so I signed it and as soon as I did, I never heard back from that Filipino bitch again. That was RM10,000 for Nuskin products. Later, I re-joined Nuskin upon friend’s recommendations but it was just too tiring. Although the beauty products were good, I actually liked the process of trying out new products every now and again. I didn’t like their health supplements because there were too many to take and I am hopeless when it comes to pills. The same for Amway and the myriad of MLM direct selling products. The one thing good we have from Amway is our home water filter which we paid a few grand for. That seems to be working well. So. MLMs and any direct selling business……TTTTTACKKKKKK!!!!! Sends chilling alarm bells up my spine.
Until Izumio entered our lives. For 15 months, I have been researching and researching and finding fault with every aspect of the company and their products but I am unsuccessful. And I am usually not one to be unsuccessful with research, probing every corner and digging deep; yet I was. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I started out by consuming the products for a couple of months. They were excellent. Natural, easy to consume, worked great, but expensive.
I was then told of the business model in order to earn an income so I could consume it for free (and I definitely wanted to consume them for free or at the very least for a reasonable cost because they have helped so much with my health problems already). Not only has it helped with my health problems, I am no longer tired plus my girls never get sick. That to me, is all positives going for the product as it is saving us from unnecessary medical bills plus downtime traveling to the Doctor/hospital and such. Plus hey, when you’re feeling great, you are that much more productive!!! Ideas come at a snap!! You are not grouchy with the kids and the kids too are feeling healthy, happy and on top of the world, so all is fabulous. Win-win-win-win.
Dream Business. With such low initial investment capital to consume the products and still have a real business going behind you that is ultimately yours to grow, I considered the Izumio Hydrogen Water Business a viable business. Whether one does it full time, part time or not do it at all, it is still a worthwhile natural supplement that EVERY HOUSEHOLD in Malaysia should have. I swear by this. Not only are they excellent supplements for cleansing the body from toxins inside out, they will heal you, prevent future diseases and care for the entire family internally and externally. With these, you no longer need ANY OTHER supplement (since this ONE product will cover every ailment you have), you no longer need face and body moisturisers (since they will nourish and hydrate your body so much till your facial wrinkles and scaly skin lessen), you will no longer need medicine for your first aid box (since application of these products will heal your wounds faster than ever, naturally as well) and you will no longer need to visit the Doctor as frequently as you have in the past.
Think about it, how many supplements do you consume right now if any. How many lotions and potions and face creams do you apply? What’s in your first aid box? How much have you spent on doctors and medical bills in the last year? What is your grocery bill in buying fruits and vegetables for cooking, eating raw or for juicing? Factor in your time in going there and waiting and purchasing all this put together. What is your total annual cost?
If you could eliminate all that except for the fruit and vegetable bit which we always encourage, what would your cost savings be if you were to consume just ONE pair of products instead, just Hydrogen water and Super Lutein vegetable essence? Where in the world would you get a guaranteed 24% return on your investment for natural supplements purchased?
I have studied the business model and identified that Naturally Plus (the company that manufactures Izumio and Super Lutein) are the ONLY direct selling company that pays you WEEKLY with 9 levels of bonuses with the real potential to earn you a million RM monthly within 3-5 years (serious shit, I’ve asked an Actuary to do the Math with some realistic assumptions) and offers points that do not expire. Once you’ve started the business and need to go on a sabbatical or need to slow down because of an emergency (or heck, just because you feel like it), you can do so without sacrificing any previous hard work.
It’s not just the money that is attractive in this business, it is wonderful seeing people heal from disease and get well. It is wonderful knowing that people offer you their gratitude from helping them gain more energy and feel more alive again. Where else would you be able to increase your income exponentially in such a short time? It took me 8 years before my salary in the corporate world reached RM20,000 and more years before it hit a bigger amount. With this business, my friend took just under 3 years before she started earning RM20,000 per month. With ANY business, you have to do sales. If it isn’t you doing the sales, it is your boss. Usually, the Managing Director or a sales team does the sales and the support functions assist the company to operate. Here, you have to do the sales but really, you do not have to if you do not like sales because there are others who could do it for you. The big boss in this business in Malaysia who is an ex-palm oil business man is currently earning RM150,000 per month. It’s not an easy job but it sure as heck is real and doable. I myself have started earning a real income of a secretary since I started this business 3 months ago. So it’s just a matter of time when that figure exponentially increases. All I do is write about it and share about it (exactly like how I’m doing it here). And I genuinely write what I mean and mean what I write. No bullshit because people will catch you out if you ever bullshit.
If you are interested to know more on how you can earn an external income, please contact me at Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com or WhatsApp me at zero one two, two triple three, eight four zero.
I do look forward to hearing from you. Those who join my team get benefits in learning how to grow a business, which you will not get elsewhere, and other surprise treats as well (such as me putting names under you). Just like how a corporation works where you are rewarded for hard work, we play the same game. Currently, I’ve just won a fully paid holiday to Club Med Maldives and am on my way to winning the second ticket. In 3 months!! On top of this, I have a salary paid by the Izumio company.
It must be added that Izumio Hydrogen Water is nothing like all the other waters you get in the market. The concentration of Hydrogen that you get in Izumio is miles more potent than the Miracle waters you get at Lourdes in France. Similarly, the Super Lutein also has the highest and purest form of Lutein in the entire global market. I’ve checked all these facts out myself and the products practically sell themselves. Anyone who says the products don’t work is either not consuming the right dosage or hasn’t been advised properly. They totally work wonders.
For more product information, please LIKE Izumio Lutein Malaysia on Facebook or email me and I will be able to respond to all your queries.
T2, my baby is now 5. I still pinch myself that it was only just yesterday, my little terror who came out ever so quiet and docile then turned out to be the biggest terror of them all!!!
We had a lovely day yesterday together painting old toiler roll holders. She is such a gentle, sensitive girl and I love her so much even if she drives me absolutely bananas.
Here’s an oldie but a goodie and how she used to scream for boobies.
Last night whilst out with my BFFs at our regular joint, Fatty who is my long time BFF since I was 15 years old, reminded me of my purpose and how far we have come together. We have really gone through so much, the two of us.
Him, always being my rock solid supporter, me, always loving him for his true friendship and generosity in sharing his genius. For he is simply that, a genius. Whilst taking the mickey out of each other as we always do, he mentioned that he should hook me up with Dr Cletus Babu, one of his business partners in India.
This guy, Cletus Babu, started out with very little as a priest in India more than 30 years ago, today runs SCAD (Social Change and Development) – Helping Society; in bringing change to many, many lives in India. This guy now has international recognition and enough funds to retire a few lifetimes over but he only takes a meagre sum for his own sustenance and gives the rest back. Fatty works with him and has verified this fact. Yet, Dr Cletus Babu has haters. Just like Syed Azmi who has gone out of his comfort zone in making a difference to fellow Malaysians. He has haters too. I don’t get why people should bitch and bring others down. Instead of wasting time hurting others, why not just do something positive and make a difference to another person’s life instead; or just plain shut up? I am nobody to judge but thankful, that in the bigger scheme of things, I will get a chance to meet Dr Cletus Babu one day in helping me to achieve bigger and better things. It is my hope that collaboratively, we can do something to get children out of cruelty in Myanmar.
The situation with children in Myanmar is much worse than people know. Nobody is doing anything. Not many people can nor want to. Not even the big guns like the media or the purported child supporting organisations. True story, as they have been contacted. But children are being used as pawns for self gain and are trapped to be used as slaves, soldiers and others. There are restaurants in Myanmar that house the kids in cages so they cannot run away. There are 8 year old children working as maids to high society as it is their culture. Many of these stories go unreported and unless you travel there frequently enough to get to know the people, we choose to remain in our cushy bubble.
This is a choice. And I have made it.
Cletus Babu used to teach children under a big tree as his classroom. Now he has many, many schools all over. He makes women buy fish from their fishermen husbands in a suppressed women society so that one day should the men leave, the women already know how to buy and sell for profit. Without practice, theory can only take you so far. Which is why I keep thinking how else we could teach the Children of Myanmar to fish. This is so real and so possible. My kids are now growing up alongside the Children of Myanmar. I do want them to continue this journey into their adulthood. By setting them an example to love unconditionally and infinitely, even to the haters for they need it the most after all, this dream is very achievable.
Get over to the SCAD website and read about some inspirational stories from India and some testimonials. Decide today how you will make a difference.
From KL to Paris with Kids was a plan we have had for awhile ever since our T1 said she wanted to climb up the Eiffel Tower. She’s such a lucky, lucky girl. Ever since she was born, she has been blessed with so much love and so much of anything that she wanted that I used to worry if she would ever be able to make it in life. But now at 10, I have more confidence with that! Being blessed does not necessarily mean a screwed up life. I am blessed myself. *smiles*
Since the girls were both HomeSchooled last year, we took the opportunity to take off from KL to Paris with kids for a long, relaxing holiday. Little did I know that this holiday would begin with me last minute packing (for 5 weeks, mind you) and receiving a very upsetting text at the 11th hour. This was a big trip and I was already stressed and busy packing to ensure all was in order, the last thing I wanted was to spend another hour trying to clear up a misunderstanding. I had a few hours before we had to wake up so no, I told myself, as upsetting as it was, I will get on with my trip to Paris and deal with the problem upon my return. At that, the alarm bell rang soon after and we went down to catch our taxi to KLIA.
The girls were excited as hell. They get to watch the in-house videos on the plane! Just look at them. They were finally getting to climb the Eiffel Tower after reading them on Madeline, Eloise, and I cannot remember where else. Many children’s books feature the magnificent Eiffel Tower…..
And boom! Already at KLIA, the anticipation of seeing the Eiffel Tower up front was calling out our names.
KLIA, check-in, MAS flight (a big thank you to C for helping us sort our little MAS hiccup), luggage, and we were on our way. It was a magnificent flight. We were comfortable, we watched movies, all was good.
Not long after, we had landed in Paris Charles de Gaulle. Paris!!! My 2nd Home….I’ve been to many cities in the world but Paris is just one city that keeps calling me back.
After paying for the train from the airport to our rented apartment behind the Eiffel Tower, we checked in and were off again. We didn’t dare take a cab in case it cost RM1,000. The train was already a few hundred RM. I kid you not! It was 70 Euros! The apartment was nice. We didn’t realise it was such close walking distance to the Eiffel Tower so that was brilliant.
After checking in, we headed out straight to meet some of our Homeschooling friends from KL. Hahaha. Yes, all the way to Paris to meet them. It is a completely different experience. And guess what? Our first meal in Paris was at Paris McDonalds!!! HAHAHA!!! Reason was we were so starved from airport to home to outlet mall to meet friends that we had no time to think what to eat and McDs was just right there. But my goodness, the cost to feed the 4 of us was about RM150. The McDs there is so cool. You can order at the little booths shown in pic below, then just go collect your order.
After that, we went shopping. Terrible, right???
Love that the outlet mall had a nice playground for the kids……..
Whilst Mommy went shopping……….
And didn’t get anything at all. There was nothing that took my fancy and anyway, I only like the finest. *flips hair*
After that, we went back for a quick shower and headed out again to the Eiffel Tower for real.
But before we could reach it, the kids just HAD to go into the Eiffel Tower playground……see T2 wearing a chic scarf around her neck? When in Paris, do as the Parisiennes do.
Finally. The magnificent Eiffel Tower. What a glorious first day in Paris it was.
After that, we went to visit our Parissiene friends for tea, the girls did some rainbow loom, then headed out for a walk to the Natural History Museum and gardens. Loved that the girls bonded so well after not meeting for so long.
We also visited the Arab Centre where the windows electronically moved when the sun got too hot or when it got too dark. Just one of the French architect Jean Nouvell’s neat little tricks. It brought back memories of my first trip to Paris as a first year architectural student with my crazy course mates and it brought back wonderful memories of our honeymoon in Paris. The monkeys were really having a ball on their first day in Paris.
Later, we visited my friend’s apartment that she lets out to tourists. If you ever needed a place to stay in Paris, her flat for rent is at the Latin Quarter. Very nice. Contact me for details.
What I love about metropolitan cities is that you are where the real action is. The top of the top are usually located in these locations, places where if you wanted to be challenged, will be challenged. The people are smarter, more cultured (sure, there are bad hats everywhere but I can assure you that in a million people you pick in Paris versus a 3rd world country, you will have much better chances of finding quality, more educated and more cultured people in Paris). That’s not to say we don’t have quality people in Malaysia. We do. But if you were to compare population to population, you will just find more in Paris and to be fair, they are a much, much older city.
We chanced upon a Vogue shoot that was happening along our walk back to dinner and I couldn’t help thinking how cold the model must have been. We all had our jackets on by then but this model, she was twirling around in her sleeveless Maxi dress in chilly winds. Elsa theme perhaps? Maybe they are just more accustomed to the Spring winds…..
We then had to cross the lock bridge and immediately T2 said that she wanted to put a pink lock there. She bugged us for days about getting a pink lock to put on the bridge but everywhere we looked, pink locks cost no less than 7 Euros. Forget it. I wasn’t paying 7 Euros for a lock to be placed in Paris and just as well because when we were back in Paris after 5 weeks to catch our return flight to KL, the bridge had collapsed!!
This is a common scene everywhere on the streets of Paris, outdoor al fresco cafes and boulangeries. I always wonder how much pollution and dust go with the food and coffee, so to date, have done this no more than twice. Plus it’s usually been too cold to be seated outdoors! So yeah, we are indoor hermits.
From KL to Paris. It was our most treasured holiday ever. Actually, that’s not fair because a month in New York watching the rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Centre, Disneyland Orlando and hanging out at The Hamptons was a pretty neat holiday too. Too bad T2 wasn’t around yet to join us but we will go back soon! Just no rocket launch…..
If you are interested in traveling from KL to Paris with children and need some advice about the city of love, please feel free to contact me at Mamapumpkin at gmail dot com and I will be more than happy to assist wherever I can.
Ahhhhhh……………….Paris. How I miss you already.
Every afternoon when I wait for my girls to pick them up from school, there is the presence of this mosque peeping behind the trees as though it is calling out to me. Because my late Mother was a staunch Muslim, and because of my closeness to her, I gravitate towards Islam. Already at the age of 16, through my Mother, I knew that Islam was not what the rest had made it out to be. The haters, they just don’t have a clue and continue mocking the Muslims. Islam is gentle. It forgives.
I am drawn to the tudung women, not just the tudung women of course, but women who share the same religion and beliefs. The music of the Quran which I was forced to learn on impulse on the day my Mother left us, is soothing to the soul. The majestic architecture of mosques resonates with me being a non-practising architect. I believe in everything they believe in, and my most beautiful experiences were with Muslims. Even at my Mother’s death bed. The nicest people I know are Muslims. The ones I know, from the Homeschooling community and elsewhere, and I am so blessed for that, have the purest of hearts.
With the world so divided in hatred and anger, my wish is for my children to embrace all religion with full respect and consideration; to do good at all times, to have a sincere heart and be the light that will shine, to diffuse any darkness whose shadows may fall along their paths. La Ilaha Ilallah…..
The Hubs has asked me to start looking into getting the little one a US visa so that when we need to go, we can just go. Has anyone done this recently? It’s been SO LONG since I did T1’s US visa but hey, look what I found??? So good for reference, eh?
T1’s first impromptu last minute trip to the US of A
I hate doing stuff like that. I hate bureaucracy. I hate queues. I hate filling in forms and answering security questions. I can think of so many more fun things I could do with my time. Like scrolling Pinterest, for example. Yes, that’s what us Stay At Home Moms do. Dang, it sounds so good. I’m a bum again. Feels liberating!!! Back to poop and cook and if I’m lucky, a book!
So yeah, can someone do this VISA thing for me, please? I’m too lazy to even call the US embassy up…….
Do you think being an opportunist is a good thing or a bad thing? I would certainly like to think of myself as being an opportunist but I do not think I am smart enough. Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I was the Country Manager for a British Multinational and had the opportunity to meet lots of people everyday. Although my salary was high allowing me the freedom to walk downstairs to indulge in a dozen pairs of Ferragamos every month (I was single and independent, what the heck!), I really could have made so much more money if only I was a better opportunist. Dang!!!
At that age, I wasn’t near entrepreneurial enough. I’m learning now though. If you’re young and just started out, please learn these skills as early as possible. Not like me, only learning now as an old lady….
Because I got to meet about a dozen new people every day and had clients coming out of my nose, the opportunities were ENDLESS!!!! Except that I never saw it. Chisss!!! The only remote opportunity that I saw was that a few clients offered me a job and I did eventually join one in secret. Why? Because I had a contract to fulfill which said clients weren’t allowed to hire their employees. So judge me. There are always ways around a contract unless you have it air tight. You just have to get creative.
Service to my clients as a service provider was top class, all above board, at top speed. In everything you do, speed is the key. But speed with perfection. And you will definitely do well. Even when you have the negative feeling that you shouldn’t do your job well because you aren’t paid enough, do it damn fast and perfect anyway. Because although your boss may not notice it (or do not want to), others will. And besides, it is for your own self-preservation and motivation. You should be proud that you do such an excellent job. One day, you WILL be rewarded for it. Not by this boss perhaps but definitely by someone somehow, the good things will flow inwards to you. Please trust me on this.
One of my Scandinavian clients were looking to recruit some locals and were asking me where I could find some good talent. Me knowing a lot of people said sure, no problem! I’ll ask around and pass you some contacts. And happily I went along not thinking anything more. But when I casually mentioned it to one of my friends, he asked me, what’s your referral fee?
Huh? What referral fee?
You’re helping them find new talent. They should pay you a referral fee. Do you know that if they go through a headhunter, they’d have to pay something like 3 months of the new recruits salary?
Of course!!! Go ask them for a referral fee!!
Alamak….how to ask?
Just go and ask!! Say you are saving them money already by not going to a headhunter.
So you see, I never even thought about that and that is because I’m just not clever enough. I plucked up the courage to go see my very tall blonde client to ask if I could have a referral fee of 1 month’s salary since, you know, I would be helping them find good talent and since I know them so well as we share the same floor, I know best what they are looking for and to make the right match. Etc etc etc.
I wasn’t expecting anything at all but they said sure! Fuckkkkkk!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy!!! 1 month’s salary could have been just a free RM30,000 in my bank account just for finding someone!!! OK, it’s not RM30 million, but to a young single almost 30 year old, that was a neat sum for shopping.
Had I not casually mentioned it to my friend, bless him, I would have lost that cool opportunity. Opportunities are everywhere. It only needs some training to make your mind think in a positive way to make it become sharp enough to see them everywhere.
Yet sometimes it can become a bad thing, being an opportunist. This is when you have no moral compass and become ruthless in your operations and actions in getting what you want. That, I do not agree with. Many people have been opportunists with me and I have allowed it to slide. I am already blessed as it is, so I close one eye and allow them to earn behind my back.
So my little T2 of late, has been ever the opportunist!!! We go for movies every week (unless there is absolutely NOTHING to watch) and she is a little minx who just loves making our lives difficult in not wanting to watch ANY movie because she says she’s scared as it’s dark and loud.
No matter if Daddy holds me, it’s still dark and loud!!!
Come on. For someone who has watched the entire Harry Potter movie series like only a thousand times, don’t tell me even Big Hero 6 will freak you out? She puts on her pity face and whimpers her damsel in distress voice so we immediately offer her a small brown packet of M&Ms if she would just watch the movie with us. We’ve done that a few times now and she has enjoyed every movie, OK!?!
So this week, we went to watch Into The Woods which admittedly was potentially scary to young children. Please don’t judge. I’m not a conventional parent. We told T2 and she squealed with frightened eyes, “NO!!!!! I’ve watched the trailers and it’s really scary!!!”
Come on, T2. You can just close your eyes at the scary parts and we’ll close your ears.
Suddenly she springs an idea. “How about if I get a toy and M&Ms??”
Now, THAT’S called being an opportunist.
At home, she has 2 spellings and 1 ejaan each week to study for and we will prompt her to do it so she won’t come home with chicken eggs. We never sit at the desk to do this. It’s always fun and games as it should be. A different approach each time. And the bugger, she would automatically ask if she could have a piece of chocolate every single time after she finishes memorising all her words of the week!!! Bloody hell.
So is it good being an opportunist? Certainly it is. When life is down and everything seems to be coming to the end of the world, only an opportunist will see the opportunity of what a situation could offer. The rest just go into depression, even suicide. Some people have taken advantage of me because I have a following to sell their products easily. I thought nothing of it until again, only an opportunist would identify with incidences like this, I was informed about it. Too late. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind being used and abused. It is my calling to serve and serve I do. I am everyone’s servant and very happily so! And I’m working at being an opportunist though really, I’m just not that smart!!!
This has been a long time pet peeve of mine on teaching fellow Malaysian how to write a great CV. Honestly speaking, in the last 10 years of my working life as an employer having to review CVs and interview employees, I have not come across a single CV that has impressed me. Not a single one!!! Zero! Zilch! And mind you, I also review CVs from the UK and Australia and they are no better. Yet, for all the people who have asked me to help them with their CVs, they have gotten their job of choice. Which makes me wonder if I should start a CV writing service instead! Or start a Recruitment Company. Why ever not? After all, I should have earned about RM50,000 alone just from recommending people to companies in the last year. For free! Well, something for me to think about and consider and I know my Hubs is going to start rolling his eyes again at my itchy bum wanting to do so much. Heh.
So. How to write a great CV? I do this for fellow Malaysians as a service.
First and foremost, do a mind map on ALL your skills. Not just the work you have done in the last X amount of years but ANY skill that you have since you were a baby, write it down on a piece of paper. Anything remotely interesting about yourself, write it down. Anything you consider brilliant that you have done, write it down. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Just write down all the things that make you the most fantastic person on this planet. Can’t think of much? Well, think harder. You must have done SOMETHING good in your life and if not, then you don’t deserve that job. Go do something brilliant first. Of course, we all have various degrees of brilliance so just put what is brilliant to you. Hey, even my daughter T1 has a growing collection of skills and awards and she’s only 10. Her book of certificates from school is full. It’s not the number of certificates that you get that matters. It’s the experience you soak in that molds you into the brilliant person that make you.
1. Mind Map on Self
So yes, write it all down. For example, for me it could be bringing profit up for company X within just 5 months from X dollars to Y dollars. It could be being published in the newspapers, journals and online sites covering areas from business to finance to parenting to charity. It could be actually publishing a book appointed by the Government. It could be being a sharp negotiator with clients and employees alike (give examples and references). It could be raising two well grounded kids. It could be keeping my husband on his toes (haha, just kidding). It could be managing people well (show examples). It could be playing the piano for school. It could be lead roles at school year after year. It could be winning an International Competition based on 12,000 participants. And the list goes on….you get the idea, yes? How to write a great CV – for Malaysians, pay attention.
2. Chronological Order of Employment
Start listing down all your workplaces from the moment you started work anywhere till now. Fill in the gaps too, so if you weren’t working officially, then what were you doing with your time. Don’t be afraid to write down your stint at burger king either. Put everything down FIRST and we will edit it later based on priority.
3. Study the JOB that you are looking at
What is the job? What is the company? What are they looking for? Research. Research. Research. Come on, if you cannot even make the effort to learn everything there is to know about the company that you are about to start working for, why even bother? You should know what the job is about. Look at other places offering similar positions. Ask around. Read up about the company. Read up about their competitors. If you can, find out something about their recruitment process and the person who will be reviewing your CV. In fact, you could even cold call and probe. Just don’t say who you are. Pretend to be someone else inquiring. You’ll be amazed how much information you can actually get if you just dared to ask. You can even ask what type of person the person of relevance is. Seriously! And of course, use your network to dig for information. You need to use everything to your advantage if you want that job. For example, if the person likes black, please don’t go adding turquoise font into your CV. This exercise will be useful when you go for that interview too so you would be killing two birds with one stone. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Plus if you do not know anything about the company, how would you ask any questions at the interview? You MUST have some questions to ask.
4. Organising and Prioritising the CV
OK, first rule of thumb. If you are approaching 45-60 years old, you’re allowed 2 pages max. If not, stick to ONE page. Seriously. If you do not know how to prioritise your CV and leave it at ONE page, you do not know how to be an efficient worker. And only if are you in a very specialised field that requires the employer to review the level of detailed skills such as which software tests you have passed etc, then only are you allowed up to 4 pages max. Anything out of that, get throws into the bin in my books. It truly shows that you don’t have much hence need to fluff about stuff to make your CV grow. It won’t work.
4A. Choosing what to add and what to chuck
So within those 1-2 pages, what do you think are the most IMPORTANT things that the employer would want to see? You can only choose enough stuff to fit into ONE page. How? If you have so much stuff, bite the bullet and choose what you think is THE most important. Maybe make your font smaller but not so small that I need a magnifying glass because that would warrant your CV into the bin too.
For me personally, the stuff I have done are so diverse that I really need to customise my CVs for each industry. So if you’re applying for a job in Management, focus on all the skills and employment where your management skills were exhibited. If the job you’re applying for is Creative, do the same. The rest? CUT IT OUT. If you still have space, then you can add in that you have won the short story telling competition organised by SHELL once upon a time. I did.
It is a reality that some employers (actually, maybe most!) practise discrimination. Really. It is a sad fact that employers categorise race and religion and generalise but what to do? It happens so we just have to live with it and work that much harder to get that job. I personally don’t. I like asking potential prospects questions that are completely out of whack just to shock them into an impromptu answer. It shows me how the applicant deals with stress. It shows me how fast he can think on his feet. I also like to test how he reacts to humour. Of course, I also ask questions to make sure he has really done what he says he has done in his CV because 90% of the time, CVs are exaggerated. I also call references to double check before I commit to an employee.
4B. Leave personal details minimal
In this day and age, it really is a waste of space to put ALL your personal details into your CV such as your IC number, your Nationality, your date of birth, your address, all your phone numbers, all your emails, your photograph, etc. No. In this day and age, I just need to know your name and your phone number (and maybe your email). What are you trying to achieve by offering all your details? You get to do that when you come for an interview and the receptionist gives you the form to fill in. All your shit can go there. Don’t waste it on your precious CV space. Besides, in Malaysia, you only open yourself to more scrutiny for discrimination. Like it or not, it happens. I have never given more than my name and contact number with email. They don’t need to know where I live (if they want to know, they can ask at the interview). They don’t need to know what religion or race I am (despite the name, I am a BUMIPUTERA, didn’t you know? And yes, that may win me some brownie points, but I prefer to win on merit).
4C. Neat Formatting
Designers are best at this. Sometimes engineers because they are very systematic. Please organise your CV in a neat and clean format so that it is easy to look for what I want to find if I were to glance at it. It is also best to put the most important things at the top and leave the least important things for last. Typically, you would have a section for your employment history (remember to remove anything irrelevant and only elaborate on the relevant jobs), a personal profile (this will be your winning attention grabber. Pay attention to writing this), your education (I only put the last and highest level of education because it is not important for people to know which high school I went to), your interests (this is a nice little extra to give the employer an insight to your life outside of work, which is also important).
5. Personal Profile
This should be no longer than 1 paragraph and a few sentences and should exhibit your greatest strengths and hopes and promise for what you want to do in and for that company. This will be your winning piece, that clincher, the first 3 seconds of your CV that will make your future employer read more. If you don’t win this, that’s it. So think about it. Why do you want to work here? Where do you wish to go? Why should I give you the job? How are you suitable? How are you going to do it?
6. Pulling it all together
There, you’re almost there. Once you’ve formatted everything nicely and put in all the right content into the CV, edit and read, then show it off to all your friends for a review of it. Make sure you write it in the language that follows your industry jargon. For example, you cannot write your CV in the way that I am writing right now. I am just simply writing from my head without any thought. You need to choose the right words when you write yours. You don’t have to use big words but be concise and precise and use proper English. Avoid slangs and short forms, and words such as stuff. Please. And for goodness sake, do a spell check and get someone to correct your grammar before you submit your CV. I throw out many CVs of people who cannot even bother to get their CVs spell-checked. It all shows your initiative, guys. You will be automatically deemed a lazy ass if you do not spell check your CV and check for typos. And shit, if I can help it, I will not employ a lazy ass. Alternatively, you could send it to me for a review. For a fee. Heh. I will soon set up my recruitment business!!!
Did that help at all? How to write a great CV – for Malaysians?
Next Up: Interview Prep…..
The best of Kelantan
After a whirlwind year last year, we are back in Kelantan again to visit our dearest Kong-Kong (the best of Kelantan) despite the fact that we will be here again for the Chinese New Year in just two weeks. And whaddya’ know? The house keeps going through changes. The first thing we noticed was that he has a brand new gate! Why? Because some wanker was speeding down the road and crashed into our gate. Can you believe it??? The entire gate and pillar with the huge postbox within was crushed and Kong-Kong had to spend a few grand just to rebuild it. Fulat betul. Plus the guy who drove into it had no money to pay for any of it.
Oh well. The new gate is very nice and he’s pushed the location of it inwards the driveway so that it makes more sense upon entry and exit into the main road. Little opportunities. Alhamdulillah.
The house is also much less cluttered as Kong-Kong has obviously thrown out a lot of Amah’s stuff. I myself am still going through Nana’s stuff, slowly but surely. Keeping clothes for T1 to wear (as she can already fit into them!) and deciding which bags we want to keep or not. I LOVE wearing Nana’s stuff (earrings, scarves, etc) because it makes me feel so close to her. Love, love, love…….
T1 finished her homework over this long weekend yesterday itself but T2, hahahahaha. She does not want to do her homework. Let’s see, she has 3 pages of Maths which involves counting stuff, colouring the correct numbers and some addition and subtraction exercises by 1 unit. In total probably about 30 units of countings to do, 10 per page. Like they would give 9 beetles and ask you to write down how many beetles there are. Or write down what happens to 15 if you add 1. Easy stuff. But my girl is not interested. At all. Die.
On top of her Maths homework, she also has Science, English and Bahasa homework. Poor, poor girl. Science involves labelling body parts on a drawing of a boy and crossing out the object that doesn’t match in a sequence. English is drawing lines to match objects and some colouring based on instructions given. There is also the writing exercise of writing the alphabets D and E, 18 times per alphabet; unlike Chinese School where you fill out the entire page with boxes! Bahasa is matching objects and colouring too. It sounds like a lot but I think if you do it all at once, it will be TOO MUCH for a 5 year old at one go. Bear in mind though that she doesn’t get this much homework every weekend. It is only because it is a long weekend and she has 5 whole days to do it. So half an hour every day. Oh, I forget, there was also Mandarin homework to write 2 words twice. So we’ve had to lug her entire school bag to Kelantan almost because Missy refused to do her homework yesterday and I’m just not one to force her if she’s not up to it.
I am passing the homework responsibility to the Hubs because he is the one who spoils her!!! To think we have to do this homework monitoring thing for a good 4 years as it will take T2 that long I think to get the hang of homework! With T1, after Reception, I never checked her bag anymore. If she didn’t do her homework, it was her problem. T2 needs more of a hand though as she cannot even read yet. Nor count!!! Aiyo!! How to do Maths!!???!!
On the plane ride here, we hit an air pocket and the plane did a sudden drop that completely freaked me out but the girls were loving it cheering, “Again! Again!!” When looking out of the plane window just before we were starting to descend, T2 said, “Oh my Goodness!! Look at the flood!! There’s still a flood in Kota Bharu!!” And T1 went, “That’s what you call a river, T2.”
On the plane, T2 was saying how she missed Amah….“I miss Amah, Daddy. Now there will be no more Rainbow Cake and Sponge Cake and Apple Pie and Chocolate Cake.”
That certainly got my floodgates opened because I realised too how soon it will be before our first Chinese New Year without the family Matriarch who used to organise the entire feast of what was the Reunion Dinner. I was thinking that SIL and I could whip up a replica Reunion Dinner meal (we are more than capable) but Kong-Kong said he had already ordered Roti Jala for CNY. Did I hear right? Well, we will find out soon enough. Hahaha. Another interesting point to note was that Kong-Kong officially instructed T1 to sit now at Amah’s old seat at the Dining Table. I’m not sure what Chinese culture is with respects to the Dining Table and the significance of always sitting at your own place but yup, T1 was instructed to change seats and now sit on Amah’s seat.
We’re off to visit Amah now at the Temple so adios for now, peepers!
I love Fridays. Dang, who doesn’t? I love Fridays because it’s the last day of the week that the Hubs has to work and we get to have him for a whole 2 days. I have insisted for him to quit his job over and over but he is such a responsible bloke that it’s not even funny. OK, it’s good to be responsible but he’s underpaid. He is!! I was earning more than him last year at some point!! I don’t care about GST and the downturn. If you’re worth X amount of dollars, you’re worth X amount of dollars. That is all there is to it. Always know your worth, people.
Fridays is when T2 finishes school extra early and previously I’d go all the way to school to get her just so she doesn’t have to wait 2.5 hours for her sister to finish. Then we’d go meet Daddy for lunch so she gets us all to herself which is a rare occurrence for her. Now the girls want to make Fridays a visit Daddy day. Both of them! T1 is saying, wait for me before you go visit Daddy!!! See how much they miss their father who comes home late every night and gets in extra early every morning? Fish.
I wish there were good movies every week so we could catch a movie every Friday evening but unfortunately it’s always hit or miss. What else can we do on a Friday evening now that we no longer visit Nana at her home on Fridays?
Oh, Fridays are also the days when the girls have to wash their kasut!!! Darn, I’m wondering if I should get them an extra pair of shoes just in case they don’t dry in time for school on Monday. Why am I blabbering all about nothingness? I have been working all day and I need to go to bed……
A toast to Fridays!!
My late Mother was extremely strong both physically and mentally. You would not imagine that a petite lady of 5 feet 2, slim and beautiful with a tremendously high forehead could hurt a man. She has punched men in jest and they have squealed in pain. She could pinch hard, run fast and put up a strong fight. My Dad used to say she had powerful legs. *chuckle*
Despite not attending a tertiary education, she was clever enough to bring down an entire Government. She was the woman behind closed doors that ran the show away from the limelight. Yet people hurt her for no reason at all. If men couldn’t sleep with her, they would spread lies. And women, well there were just women who couldn’t handle a strong woman who had a lot going. And too spread the lies.
I will always be grateful to my Mother for training me to be strong. Even if it got her heart in knots, she let me fall deep knowing that the world could be a cruel place and I had to survive it. You never know who has your back. People think they know me but even my best friends know barely 50% of me. Because I have truly lived, that fact is assumed. And who cares anyway, right?
Sincere people have a certain glow, an aura, and you almost know it in your gut; and the alternative can do lots for you but if your antennas don’t pick up their agendas, then time will. Being strong requires training and my Mom has trained me hard. The people I knew were getting divorced, have gotten divorced. The people I felt would fall, have fallen. Those that I knew would fly high, have flown high. Being strong sharpens your intuition. And no, it is not something to gloat about, being strong. It is just as OK to be weak. No judgement at all from me. Although personally, I would like to see all women being strong as much as possible. To overcome all obstacles that hinder their paths. If you have been abused, know that there is a future for you out there. A brilliant one. If you do not know how to be strong, learn.
My only challenge now is passing that onto my girls. Being strong is being kinder. Being strong is having more compassion and empathy. Being strong is forgiveness and still being able to love in adversity. Being strong is being able to walk away from backstabbers without picking a fight. Being strong is flooring a man in one move. Being strong is being able to get negativity flung at you yet continue to inspire positivity. Being strong is being able to give generously without expectation. Being strong is seeing past the people who hurt you. Being strong is seeing the good in everyone. Being strong is soaring towards your passions. And the list goes on.
There is only a set amount of time to impart these lessons to my preciousness before they start taking on the world by themselves. In that, it is important for me that I am available and thus have resigned from my full time job to give T2 the same full time Mom attention that I offered to T1 previously for a whole 7 years. Bye bye Ferragamo and Hermes. Bye bye Zermatt.
May my girls be strong to lead a pack of wolves.
Living beside a jungle has it’s pros and cons. Pros – it’s beautiful view, the cooler weather especially when we are located on a hill, being close to nature means witnessing the monkeys eating red berries, the squirrels chasing one another from branch to branch and the amazing array of birds that stop by.
The cons? Mosquitoes!!! We’ve had to mosquito proof our entire home when T1 was born and it cost a painful 11 grand. Why are Mozzie screen so damn expensive!!!??? The fuck I know. I think it is because we needed the frames to be powder coated back to match the original window frames. Sigh. Another con? We discovered it today…..
Our Mozzie net in the bathroom had a hole. It wasn’t torn per se but the frame had dislodged itself leaving a small gap for creepy crawlies to enter and enter they did. The 3 girls in the house screamed for what appeared to be the tiniest snake in the world. It was all of 2 inches. Actually, it was less than that. It was actually a worm. Honestly, how it got in, I have no idea. But scream they did and me? Well, I didn’t scream but I might as well just have. Because the bulu on my hand stood with total geli-ness watching the worm move sliding forward in its contract expand motion. OMG.
We called Daddy immediately. His first question laughing was, how big is it? He mocks us all the time and is evil because when he catches them, he usually chases after us with them!!!! How incredibly mean, right?!!!! WTF. I told him we could die of a heart attack right there.
Since he he wasn’t leaving his office at 7pm for us, we decided to kill the worm but nobody wanted to touch it. We tried water, it swam. Freak!!!!! We tried shampoo foam (since I was in the middle of a shower), it continued to swim. We tried Dettol Liquid Soap (not that we use it but the girls use it for masak-masak in the bath), it swam slower but it still moved!!!
T1 was shouting, “Google it, Mom! Google it!!!!”
So I googled it. How to kill a worm. So damn stressful because T1 would interfere, “well? What does Google say???”
It’s downloading, Honey!!!
“Hurry, it’s going to climb out or go into the drainer!” I quickly gave T1 a bottle of minyak angin to drizzle over the smallest snake in the world out of desperation. It seemed to work a little.
Google says vinegar!!!
I ran to the kitchen to grab my vinegar from the fridge but T1 said she thought the minyak angin was working. “It’s coiling itself now, Mom. Don’t waste your Tarragon Vinegar.”
Then T2 suggested, what if it’s actually Nana?
Fish!! What if it was indeed??? Suddenly T1 blushed in a rush of guilt and asked if Nana would be angry if it was indeed her?!!! I assured her that Nana would never get angry at us. Not unless we were destroying ourselves.
Living beside a jungle has brought us such drama that I’m not sure my heart can take it. We left the coiled smallest snake in the world for Daddy to clear. Heh. And made sure we were locked in our rooms when he did.
Living beside a jungle adventures…..
How to Improve Health: Ever since my mother-in-law died, followed by my heart diagnosis, then my Mom’s death; I am suddenly dead serious about health. How does one improve their health? My Mom fought 14 years of cancer. That didn’t scare me. Having heart disease does. And now I am trying to understand what went wrong with my Mother’s cancer and how things could have been better, to make my own body better. Heck, my kids are only 5 and 10. Despite the fact that I will have open heart surgery to be fine again (though hopefully never!), I have also been told that I could go in my sleep from the lack of oxygen in the blood stream. Like what the fuck, right? That’s not very comforting at all. I started googling How to Improve Health.
So far, I have only been once on Emergency to the hospital to load up on oxygen since the diagnosis. But I do have my down days where I struggle to breathe. Those days I will lie down to rest and usually things sort themselves out after a good rest. Things are much better these days ever since I started taking Hydrogen Water and after researching for a year about health, these are my findings:
How to Improve Health: Good health seems to boil down to Reduction and Oxidation and a good balance between the two.
Now I finally understand what the Chinese Sinsehs talk about when they say the body is too cool or too heaty. It works under similar concepts of balance.
The energy from our lives comes from food and oxygen that is released into our cells through the oxidation/reduction chemical reactions that take place in our mitochondria (the energy part of our cells that help our cells do their job). The hot byproducts of this energy creation are called free radicals. The name of the ‘coolants’ used in our cells to extinguish those free radicals are called reductants or antioxidants. Serious problems arise, at a molecular level, if reductants and oxidants are not balanced and that is when people get sick. Please pay attention to understand How to Improve Health.
In order to have balanced amounts of oxidants and reductants in our cells, which means we have plentiful energy for an active, fulfilling life, and not plenty of free radicals attacking our molecules and cells to age us and cause degenerative disease, we must ensure that our cells ALWAYS have sufficient oxygen, hydrogen and other antioxidant molecules to balance things out. Failure to support this balance in cellular activities is a definite choice for death and disease. But how would we know?
Oxygen – most people are not aware that cells can have oxygen deficiencies but the truth is that cancer is always the result of a cellular deficiency in oxygen. This is a secret people must learn to ensure that cells have enough oxygen to stay healthy and deliver energy when required.
Hydrogen – this universal ”antioxidant” (free radical reducer) is universally undersupplied and this causes us to age too fast.
So if we needed more Oxygen, then we just breathe more, right? No!!!!!!!!!!
Most people think they can get all the oxygen they need by breathing more air (deep breathing, yoga, exercise) or even by breathing pure oxygen or taking oxygen-releasing supplements. This absolutely can help, but is not sufficient. Athletes get cancer too. So how to improve health?
The challenge is that getting oxygen into the blood stream isn’t enough. It still has to go from the blood into the individual cells. This involves going through the cell membranes. If the cell membranes are built from oxygen-resisting oils (most supermarket oils), then oxygen won’t get into cells as easily as it should, and cellular oxygen amounts may be less than they should for optimum health.
Supermarket oils have been purposefully made oxygen-transfer-resistant in order to achieve long shelf-lives. Freaking hell but yes!!! So, in the name of profit, many oils have been made into dangerous substances that should not be eaten (yet, most people are unaware of this danger). Symptoms of eating these oils are very slow, so slow, that people don’t put two and two together. The major symptoms are lessened energy and eventually cancer. One of the first things to consider when energy is low is increasing cell oxygen. Darn, and I have this heart disease that already gives me insufficient oxygen. …
Drinking active hydrogen water daily is an ideal health practice that not everyone can afford (though Alhamdulillah, I can) and it is definitely one of the top five health habits recommended. A person who has not tried drinking Hydrogen rich water does not understand the opportunity that atomic hydrogen provides in maximizing health and longevity. Human nature is such that people most often hang their hopes for health success on complicated, more expensive things and overlook the simple but more important things and not for a moment do they think how to improve health. The truth is, however, that out of simple daily habits (the very ones that may seem insignificant now) grow the wisdom of enjoying great health with lots of energy, and that is to drink good quality Hydrogen water with high amounts of Hydrogen daily.
Hydrogen enter the body and spreads to extinguish free radicals, slowing down aging and disease and giving us a lot more energy. Quenching Free Radicals is extremely important as it is them that cause inflammations, diseases, aging, and ultimately, death; slowly but surely. By extinguishing free radicals with good quality Hydrogen water, we are actively making a great choice in life.
There you go, how to improve health.